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By ASHLEY SCOBY
For the rest of the football offseason, I’m going to be doing some previews here on vaughtsviews.com for the UK football season – incoming players, position battles, etc. Want to learn more about a particular signee or want a preview of the long snappers next year? Shoot me an email with any ideas/suggestions at email@example.com. Until then…
When a guy is recruited as an “athlete,” you know you could have something special on your hands. Jalen Whitlow, who committed to Kentucky on Signing Day Eve this year, is one of those guys. He played quarterback and wide receiver for his high school, Prattville (Alabama), where he scored 30 touchdowns in his final season. He was originally committed to Arkansas State before receiving interest from a couple of SEC schools (including Ole Miss) and finally switching to Kentucky at the last minute.
The 6’3, 200-pound athlete has a 4.55 40-yard dash and is consistently described as a dual-threat quarterback. A scouting report on ESPN said that he looked like a wide receiver – most likely, that’s where Whitlow will end up at Kentucky.
We’ve seen problems before with quarterbacks (or other positions) being turned into wide receivers. For example, Matt Roark played quarterback throughout his high school career but was made into a receiver at Kentucky, where he struggled most of the time. The most success he had was as a dual-threat quarterback during the Tennessee game. It’s possible that Whitlow could be most successful in a role such as that – as part of a Wildcat offense or trick plays. With his athleticism and his size, Whitlow could be a great wide receiver – as long as he can catch the ball. That seems like such a simple idea, but any Kentucky football fan from the last few seasons knows how badly the team has been lacking that skill.
I would expect Whitlow to redshirt his first year, UNLESS the team starts to have big troubles with its receiving corps (again). If that happens, it’s possible we see the redshirt come off and Whitlow get some time on the field this year. It’s not hard to use a superb athlete on a football field, and by all accounts, that’s what Whitlow is.